So in my creative writing class right now we’re working on little memoir triptychs and since I don’t get to turn in everything I write for a grade, I figured I would just post my excess on here. Ta da!
(And these don’t have titles because I hate coming up with titles. That’s all.)
It was blue. Aquamarine I think it’s called. With beautiful little diamonds along the edges. Princess cut. Like the meaning of my name even though I hate that. Princess. I’ve never been one no matter how cute you thought it was to call me that. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to wear it. That I didn’t love it and wasn’t impressed with what you’d chosen to adorn me with. I hated that you showed it to me when we were in the middle of broken but really, when weren’t we? In the front seat of that van you lived in for six months because you really needed one more ridiculous obsession. One more distraction from all the chaos. Or maybe to add to the chaos- I’m not sure how that works for you. And then twelve months later I’m writing out our history and sending it to her. Her with you on the beach. Her with you in the parking garage. Her with you when you were with me. And after all the details. All the holidays, and love making, and plans. I get one message back from her.
“Was the ring blue?”.
My aunt used to take a camping trip every summer with her hippie friends and all their hippie kids. Hippie kids aren’t really a thing, they’re just their parents’ kids like all other kids. I was probably eight or nine the first time my aunt brought me along and my grandma had bought me a two piece swimsuit. Don’t ask me why they make bikinis for little girls. All the other girls had a two piece swimsuit too, but the difference between theirs and mine was that space in the middle. You know, Belly. It didn’t matter that it was “baby weight” or that I was only nine, what mattered was that I could see I was different. Those other girls didn’t have Belly. From here it’s weird to think about insecurity and nine years old. It seems like such an unnatural combination but I don’t know how you prevent it. I think insecurity is born at some point in each life and from that point it, like a cancer, breeds and outpaces you in rate of growth. It might go into remission from time to time, but it usually pops back up, ready to consume. For several years after that summer, I remember dressing room battles with whoever was buying my swim suit about why I didn’t want certain ones. Can you tell me what exactly you don’t like about it? Yes, all my insecurity is seeping out of it.
When I was bored, which was often, I would wander to Papa’s bedroom; all bed pillows and war metals he’d never talk about. But then again, I don’t know who ever asked. Papa’s room was better than grandma’s, if for no other reason but that it wasn’t always dark. Grandma’s room was where I hid at night, next to her twin size bed, when my own room was too scary. The whole house was dark. I don’t remember how it started but Papa taught me how to dance. One of those afternoons, after my solitary bath in two inches of lukewarm water, before Papa’s mid-day nap, I showed up and he had music playing. I don’t remember what it was, but probably some big band stuff he and grandma used to dance to before they became who they were then. People who slept at opposite ends of the house. He was mostly a quiet man, except when he was snoring, but I think he liked to show me things. Like how he had to test his blood sugar every morning, and how to open my tiny box of cereal. Then one day he showed me how to find the beat in music and how to keep it with my feet. I think that’s how dancing starts.